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IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing

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Leakage currents, power consumption, Security of data, Telecommunication security


Countermeasures and deterrents to power side-channel attacks targeting the alteration or scrambling of the power delivery network have been shown to be effective against local attacks where the malicious agent has physical access to the target system. However, remote attacks that capture the leaked information from within the IC power grid are shown herein to be nonetheless effective at uncovering the secret key in the presence of these countermeasures/deterrents. Theoretical studies and experimental analysis are carried out to define and quantify the impact of integrated voltage regulators, voltage noise injection, and integration of on-package decoupling capacitors for both remote and local attacks. An outcome yielded by the studies is that the use of an integrated voltage regulator as a countermeasure is effective for a local attack. However, remote attacks are still effective and hence break the integrated voltage regulator countermeasure. From the experimental analysis, it is observed that within the range of designs' practical values, the adoption of on-package decoupling capacitors provides only a 1.3x increase in the minimum number of traces required to discover the secret key. However, the injection of noise in the IC power delivery network yields a 37x increase in the minimum number of traces to discover. Thus, increasing the number of on-package decoupling capacitors or the impedance between locally measured power and the IC power grid should not be relied on as countermeasures to power side-channel attacks, for remote attack schemes. Noise injection should be considered as it is more effective at scrambling the leaked signal to eliminate sensitive identifying information.


© Copyright the author(s) 2024


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This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication as: Mozipo, A. T., & Acken, J. M. (2024). Analysis of Countermeasures Against Remote and Local Power Side Channel Attacks using Correlation Power Analysis. IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing.

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